Impact of Illumination Correlated Color Temperature, Background Lightness, and Painting Color Content on Color Appearance and Appreciation of Paintings-Peter Hanselaer

Lighting design for art exhibitions has a significant impact on the enjoyment and understanding of the displayed artworks. In particular, the selection of the light sources and the design of the museum space affect the visitors visual perceptions of the artworks and their color appearance. This project investigated some of the potential factors—the correlated color temperature (CCT) of the illumination, the overall color content of the painting and the lightness of its background—affecting a painting’s color appearance and appreciation in a museum setting. The study involved a survey conducted in the laboratory with both naïve observers and lighting experts. The CCT of the lighting was found to be the main factor affecting the painting’s appearance and the observers’ overall preference for the lighting arrangements, whereas the overall hue content of the painting and the background lightness had a minor influence. Furthermore, it has been found that the perceived brightness increases along with the CCT.

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